How to Open a PowerPoint Presentation? [Complete Guide!]


Knowing how to master the PowerPoint application starts with the basics. If you are just starting out with Microsoft PowerPoint, the first thing you need to know is really how to open a PowerPoint presentation!

To open or view an existing PowerPoint file, double-click on the file from the folder. Alternatively, open the PowerPoint application. Then, click on “File>Open>Browse”, and locate the file on your computer to open it. To open a new presentation file, simply click on “File>New>Blank Presentation”.

The process of opening a PowerPoint presentation is actually quite simple and it only takes a few seconds. So, in this article, first we will take you through the process of opening a presentation step-by-step in a visual manner. Then, I will provide answers to all questions related to opening a PowerPoint presentation!

So, let’s get started!

[A Quick Note Before We Begin – for this article, I will be using one of the presentation templates from Envato Elements. With Envato Elements, you get access to thousands of presentation designs with unlimited downloads so you never run out of options again. Plus, you get free previews so you know exactly what you’re getting before buying! It is also very affordable. Check out their pricing here]

1. How to Open a PowerPoint Presentation? 

There are a couple of different methods in which you can open a PowerPoint file. Both the methods are actually quite easy.

The first method requires the least number of steps. To open or view a PowerPoint presentation simply locate the PowerPoint file on your computer, and double-click on it. You can also right-click on the file, and from the dropdown menu, click on “Open”.

The second method requires you to start the PowerPoint application first.

If you do not see the PowerPoint icon on your desktop or taskbar, just go to the search bar and type ‘PowerPoint’ using your keyboard to find it. After opening the PowerPoint application, all you have to do is select your presentation file to open it. Just follow the steps below:

1a. How to Open a New PowerPoint Presentation?

Follow the steps below to open/create a new PowerPoint Presentation:

Step-1: Click on the “File” Menu button

At the top left side of your Microsoft PowerPoint application, you will find the ‘File’ menu option. The first step is to click on it.

Step-2: Click on “New”, and select the “Blank Presentation” button

Then, from the PowerPoint Backend view, you need to click on “New“.

Now on your screen, you will find an option that says ‘Blank Presentation’ for you to click on. A new PowerPoint presentation with a blank slide will be created once you click on it.

You can also choose to click on any of the templates below to go with a pre-made design theme.

1b. How to Open an Existing PowerPoint Presentation?

It is common to have PowerPoint presentation files saved in different folders of your computer. There are two very easy ways to open these existing PowerPoint presentation files.

You can either open an existing PowerPoint file by browsing to the folder it is stored in and double-clicking on the file. Or you can open it from the Microsoft PowerPoint application itself. I’ll discuss both of the ways below:

Opening an existing PowerPoint Presentation file from the file location

Step:-1: Go to the folder your PowerPoint Presentation file is stored in

Open the folder where you had saved your PowerPoint presentation file. It could be on any of your local drives, or if you have recently downloaded the file, it could be on the ‘Downloads’ folder.

Step-2: Double-click on the PowerPoint Presentation file.

Left click’ on the file twice using your mouse to open it. You can also ‘Right click’ on the file once and from the dropdown menu click on the ‘Open’ option to open the file on your Microsoft PowerPoint application.

Opening an existing PowerPoint Presentation from the Microsoft PowerPoint Application

Step-1: Open the Microsoft PowerPoint application and go to the “File” menu

The first thing you have to do is open the Microsoft PowerPoint application and click on the “File” menu option on the top-left corner of the screen.

Step-2: Click on ‘Open’, and then ‘Browse’

Clicking on the File option will open the background view of PowerPoint. Then, click on “Open

In the ‘Open’ tab, you will find all the Presentation files you have used/viewed recently under the ‘Recent’ section. If the file you want to open is not present here, simply click on ‘Browse.’

Step-3: Go to the file location click on it to select it.

After that, a window will pop up using which you can use to choose the file you want to open. Go to the folder containing the PowerPoint presentation file and select it by ‘Left-clicking’ on its name.

Step-4: Click on ‘Open.’

After selecting the file, click on ‘Open’ to get the job done. You can also edit the slides by clicking on ‘Enable Editing.’

You can follow any of the two methods mentioned above to open an existing PowerPoint Presentation file.

1c. Shortcut Key to Open a Presentation in PowerPoint 

You can open both a new PowerPoint Presentation as well as an existing PowerPoint file using shortcut keys.

Here are the shortcut keys to open a PowerPoint presentation –

  1. To open a new PowerPoint presentation – Press “Ctrl+N” (Cmd+N on Mac)
  2. To open an existing PowerPoint presentation – Press “Ctrl+O” (Cmd+O on Mac)

Remember, in order to use the above shortcut keys, you need to open the PowerPoint application first on your computer.

2. How to Open a PowerPoint Online? (Using OneDrive)

Microsoft PowerPoint can also be saved online. Microsoft actually has integration with its own cloud service called OneDrive. In fact, if you are using Microsoft Office 365, you also get free cloud storage of up to 1 TB with your account!

When you try to open an online version of a PowerPoint file, you will need to do so using OneDrive. In the following steps, I will show you how to open a PowerPoint Presentation file online using OneDrive:

Step-1: Click on the “File” menu

The first step, as usual, is to click on the “File” menu option. This will open the backend view of PowerPoint.

Step-2: Click on “Open” and choose “OneDrive”

Screenshot has been taken using PowerPoint 365 on Mac (but the options are almost the same on Windows too)

From the backend view, click on the “Open” option. Then, click on “OneDrive“. You may need to login into your OneDrive account. Then, navigate to the respective folder containing the PowerPoint file.

Step-3: Select the File and Click “Open”

Navigate to the designated folder on OneDrive that contains the PowerPoint file. Select it and then click “Open”.

PowerPoint will then download the file for you. Once it opens the online file, you will notice that the “Autosave” feature in PowerPoint will be turned on.

This basically means, every time you make a change to the file, it will automatically reflect in the file saved online in OneDrive!

How to Open and View a PowerPoint file in OneDrive?

You can also view the same PowerPoint file using your internet browser. All you need to do open the OneDrive login page and log in to your OneDrive account using your email address and password.

Once you are logged in into your OneDrive account, follow the below mentioned steps –

Step-1: Locate your PowerPoint file and Click on it

If you already have the file uploaded, then simply navigate to the respective folder, locate the file and click on it.

Step-2: Start Editing the File

Your file will be opened in a new tab on your browser. You can directly start editing the PowerPoint file online!

The best part is, you don’t even need to have the PowerPoint application installed to edit, open or view a PowerPoint presentation online file!

3. How to Open a PowerPoint Presentation in Google Slides? 

Google Slides in one of the most popular online tools out there for creating and opening presentations. You can also use Google Slides to open you PowerPoint Presentation file with just a few clicks. Follow the steps below:

Step-1: Go to Google Slides and click on ‘Open File Picker’ option

To open a PowerPoint Presentation in Google Slides, the first step is to log in to your Google account and go to Google Slides. Then, click on the “Open File Picker” option – the icon that looks like a file folder (see the image above).

Step-2: Go to the ‘upload’ section for uploading the presentation file

Since Google Slides is cloud-based, the next step is to upload the Presentation file. To do that, from the pop-up window, go to the ‘Upload’ section. Now click on ‘Select a file from your device.’

Step-3: Locate your PowerPoint Presentation file and click on ‘Open.’

From the pop-up window, go to the folder containing the Presentation file and select it. Then click on ‘Open’ to upload the file from your computer. It might take a few seconds to upload and load the Presentation file on Google Slides. That’s it!

4. How to Open a PowerPoint Presentation in Keynote on Mac? 

To open a Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation on Apple’s Keynote application, just follow the steps below:

Step-1: Open ‘Keynote’ and locate your PowerPoint Presentation file

On your Mac Computer open the ‘Keynote’ application. From the window, navigate to the folder containing the PowerPoint Presentation file.

Step-2: Select your Presentation file and click on ‘Open.’

After locating your PowerPoint Presentation file on Keynote, simply click on it to select it. Then click on ‘Open’ to access it. A window might appear stating that some changes were made while importing the file, which is quite normal for highly customized PowerPoint files.

Step-3: View or Edit the PowerPoint file in Keynote

Once the file is opened in Keynote, you can now view or edit the file directly in Keynote just as you would on any other presentation design application!

5. How to Open a PowerPoint Presentation Without PowerPoint? 

Incase you do not have PowerPoint installed on your computer or do not have access to PowerPoint, you can still open a PowerPoint presentation file through various means. I’ll be discussing some of the ways to open a PowerPoint Presentation without PowerPoint below:

Method 1 – Using Online Tools

If you don’t have PowerPoint installed on your computer, you can still view a PPT or PPTX file. One of the best ways to view it is using online tools.

Two of the most commonly used FREE online tools are ‘Google Slides’ and ‘One-Drive’. Both these methods have been discussed previously in this article. Thus, I would recommend going through them once again if you need some help on that.

Method 2 – Using Aspose Slides Viewer

Another method is using the “Aspose Slides Viewer”. Using this online tool, you can open your Presentation files. It supports PPT, PPTX, PPS, and ODT files that are amongst the most common PowerPoint Presentation formats.

Here’s how to use Aspose Slides Viewer tool to open PowerPoint Presentations –

Step-1: Go to Aspose Slides Viewer using an Internet Browser

The first step is to open your Internet Brower and go to: https://products.aspose.app/slides/viewer

Step-2: Click on ‘Drop or upload your file’

Once the webpage is done loading on your browser, click on ‘Drop or upload your file.’

Step-3: Locate your file and click on ‘Open’

From the pop-up window, go to the folder containing the PowerPoint Presentation file and select it. Then click on ‘Open’ to upload the file from your computer to Aspose Slides Viewer. Once the upload is finished, you will be able to view the PowerPoint Presentation on your screen.

The good part about Aspose Slides Viewer is that it is completely FREE. When viewing the ppt file, it shows a surprisingly accurate representation of the presentation. You can also edit the PPT file. However, the options are quite limited. So, it can be used for basic text editing at the very best!

Method 3 – Using Third-Party Applications

There are a few Third-Party Applications out there, which you can use to Open PowerPoint Presentation files. Two of the most common among them are ‘LibreOffice Impress’ and ‘Kingsoft Presentation Professional.’

LibreOffice supports almost all types of PowerPoint files including PPT, PPTXS, PPTX, PPTS. It allows you to not only open PowerPoint presentations but also make necessary customizations. You can download it for free from here.

Kingsoft Presentation Professional is another standard presentation tool with lots of in-built features. It is quite similar to Microsoft PowerPoint and supports PPT and PPTX files. Download Kingsoft Presentation Professional from here.

6. How to Open PowerPoint in Presentation Mode? 

You can directly open your PowerPoint Presentation file in Presentation Mode, instead of having to normally opening it first and then changing the view mode. This might be time saving for some, as you will be able to start your presentation with just a few clicks. Follow the step-by-step guide below to find out the process:

Step-1: Go to the folder which contains your PowerPoint Presentation file

Go to the folder on your computer where you have saved your PowerPoint Presentation file. ‘Right Click’ on the file to open a dropdown menu.

Step-2: Click on ‘Show’

From the dropdown menu, click on the fourth option that says ‘Show.’ This will directly open the PowerPoint file in Presentation Mode.

If you have a “.pps” or “.ppsx” file, you don’t need to right-click on it. These files are designed to be directly open as slideshow!

7. How to Open PowerPoint in Safe Mode? 

Opening Microsoft PowerPoint in Safe Mode means opening the application without any add-ons, extensions, or other forms of customizations you might’ve made.

AutoCorrect and a few other features will also not work while in Safe Mode. You can both open the Microsoft PowerPoint application in safe mode or a particular PowerPoint Presentation file.

I’ll be discussing both of them below:

Opening the Microsoft PowerPoint Application in Safe Mode

Step-1: Press ‘Ctrl’ while opening the Microsoft PowerPoint Application

To open the Microsoft PowerPoint application in Safe Mode, hold the ‘Ctrl’ button of your keyboard and ‘Left Click’ on the Microsoft PowerPoint Icon on your taskbar, start-menu, or desktop.

Step-2: Click on ‘Yes’ to enable Safe Mode.

A dialogue box will appear where you will be asked if you want to start Microsoft PowerPoint in Safe Mode or not. Click on ‘Yes’ to open the PowerPoint in Safe Mode.

Opening a specific PowerPoint Presentation on Safe Mode:

To open a specific PowerPoint Presentation file on Safe Mode, follow the steps below:

Step-1: Hold the ‘Ctrl’ Key and click on the PowerPoint file

Browse to the folder on your computer where you have you have saved your presentation file. Now, while holding the ‘Ctrl’ button on your keyboard, ‘Left-click’ on the file to open it on Safe Mode. A dialogue box will appear on your screen.

Step-2: Click on ‘Yes’ in the Prompt that opens up

You will now be asked if you want to open this PowerPoint file in Safe Mode. Click on ‘Yes’ to get the job done!

8. How to Open a PowerPoint Presentation on Zoom?

Zoom meetings has now become an integral part of our lives, both in terms of work and education. The global pandemic has forcefully replaced on-stage presentations with virtual ones and Zoom is one of the most popular choices for it.

Related ArticleHow to Give a Presentation on Zoom? [A Complete Step-by-Step Guide!]

If you want to open a PowerPoint presentation on Zoom, follow the steps mentioned below –

Step-1: Open the PowerPoint presentation on your device

The first step is to open the PowerPoint Presentation file on your computer using Microsoft PowerPoint. You can do that by either ‘Left-Clicking’ on the file from its location or going to the ‘Open’ tab on Microsoft PowerPoint and selecting the file from the ‘Browse’ option.

I have discussed this in detail on the points above.

Step-2: Open Zoom meeting and click on ‘Share Screen’.

Join or launch a Zoom meeting where you will be sharing your PowerPoint presentation. Click on the option that says ‘Share Screen’ at the bottom.

Step-3: Click on ‘Share’ option

A new window will pop-up where you will find all the applications opened on your computer. Hover your cursor over the ‘PowerPoint Slide Show’ window and click on it. Now click on the option that says ‘Share’ at the bottom right corner of your screen.

Step-4: Open the PowerPoint presentation in Zoom

Once you click on ‘Share’, the PowerPoint presentation file will be opened in Zoom and all the participants in the meeting will be able to view your screen. You can stop sharing your screen by clicking on the option that says ‘Stop Share.’

More PowerPoint Related Topics

  1. How to Crop a Picture in PowerPoint? [Complete Step-by-Step Tutorial!]
  2. What is a Presentation Clicker? [And How to Use it!]
  3. How to Convert a PowerPoint to PDF? [A Simple Guide!]
  4. PowerPoint vs Google Slides: Which is Better? [ULTIMATE Test!]
  5. How to Change Bullet Style in PowerPoint? A Complete Guide

Credit to drobotdean (via Freepik) for the featured image of this article

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